One of the things I talk about in my workshops on teaching is the importance of learning students' names. I was never good at this myself until I decided to make it a point to practice this skill. After all, we require our students to learn theories, concepts, terms, formulas, dates, etc. We should at least do them the courtesy of learning their names. The students will be surprised and pleased you did and less likely to be disruptive.
- Repeat the name back to the student as soon as you first hear it.
- If a student has a question, ask for his/her name and use it when you answer the question.
- Try to make a connection: Carol has curly hair.
- Use a seating chart so that you can practice connecting names and faces. Spend a couple minutes right before class looking at the students and chart to test yourself.
- Consider taking photos of students to help you learn names.